Weekend Roundtable: 2014 Home Theater Wishes

This has become something of an annual tradition around here. As we close the books on 2013, let’s look forward to the things we’d like to see in 2014. Do you have a favorite movie still waiting to be released on Blu-ray? Would you like to upgrade some of your home theater gear? Tell us about it in today’s Roundtable.

Shannon Nutt

I already got an early wish when Universal announced last week that the studio is finally releasing ‘Somewhere in Time’ on Blu-ray in March of 2014. Now my hope is that Disney will finally bring 1988’s ‘Shoot to Kill’ to high-def. The film marked Sidney Poitier’s return to the big screen after a decade’s absence. He plays an FBI agent who teams up with a local mountain man (played by Tom Berenger) to track down a diamond thief/kidnapper/killer in the Pacific Northwest. It’s basically another buddy cop movie (though Berenger’s character isn’t a cop), but one that’s elevated by Poitier’s acting. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend giving it a view.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I could come up with oodles of unrealistic home theater wishes for 2014, but I’ll be practical here instead. I have hopelessly run out of media storage space. My living room has right at 3,000 different releases piled onto more shelves than I can count, and that’s just Blu-ray (okay, and a few stragglers on HD DVD). I have another thousand DVDs stacked in no particular order in a closet upstairs. The idea of getting that all onto a media server is daunting, to say the least, and I’m not crazy about the idea of putting the discs in thin sleeves. I like having an unnecessarily large film library, but I wish that I had some way to more efficiently display, store and organize it. I’m getting married next year, and when “my house” becomes “our house,” I don’t think what I’m doing now is going to fly.

Luke Hickman

Having just purchased a new 55″ LG TV, I’m pretty content with my home theater gear at the moment. For where I’m at, my set-up is fantastic. However, when Mrs. Hickman and I look into purchasing our first home in the new year, I’m going to need to throw a new TV into the mix. This time around, I’m hoping to pick up a 3D model. While I’m not the biggest fan of most theatrical 3D, I do enjoy the capabilities of 3D TVs.

My Blu-ray wish list has contained the same two movies for years, but I’m fortunate enough to see one of them coming in April. I’m a die-hard Cameron Crowe fan and couldn’t be happier that ‘Vanilla Sky’ is finally going Blu in April. Now, I just need Zach Braff’s ‘Garden State’ on the format. Hopefully, with Braff’s new Kickstater-funded film coming to Sundance and theaters this year, co-distributors Fox Searchlight and Miramax will decide to finally make my wish come true.

M. Enois Duarte

Ever since I got into the A/V hobby as a teen, I’ve always been interested in the idea of building speakers from scratch, but I never had the tools, parts, know-how or the time required. Two years ago, however, I finally built my first subwoofer, a 12″ driver inside a 4 cu.ft. ported box with a 500W BASH amplifier. As much as I love how it beautifully evens out the low-end response of my room, especially for music, I think I can still use a little more oomph – meaning, I want more SPLs.

This next summer, I’m going to build a pair of dual-opposed 18″ Stereo Integrity subs inside 8 cu.ft. sealed boxes. They’ll be pretty large in my room, but with a lovely flat-black paint job, they should also look very nice. The only thing I’m still trying to decide about is whether I want to feed each driver 2000W of power (that’s 4000W total for each box), or if 1000W will be sufficient to deliver the sort of response I want. By the way, the goal is to have a flat 10 Hz response in the room. That’s my home theater wish for 2014.

Brian Hoss

I’m loving both the new PS4 and Xbox One, but the 2014 game that I’m most looking forward to is easily ‘Dark Souls II’. The beta sessions that I’ve had are some of the most tense of any game I’ve played, and I’ve been glued to my home theater while struggling through the game’s world. Beyond that, or a miraculous Ultra HD set-up, I hope that 2014 sees my local sports teams escape from their cable war lockout (20 months so far), so that I can actually watch them play.

Josh Zyber

This time last year, I had just purchased a new house and started planning a major renovation to turn the basement into a proper home theater. After many delays and a long, arduous process, I think I’ve finally got the room just about where I want it. I’m satisfied enough with my equipment that I don’t think I need any immediate upgrades.

Of course, just as I’ve gotten that settled, now I have two kids on the way, which will surely throw a big wrench in the works. Although I’m sure this won’t be an issue for at least several months (when the little monsters start crawling around), I foresee my lovely theater being overtaken and turned into a messy playroom.

And you know what? I’m happy to make peace with that. My wish for 2014 is to see my boys grow healthy and strong, and that I can find a good way to strike a balance between my family life, my writing responsibilities here, and my home theater obsession. If I could squeeze in a couple movies here and there that don’t involve singing animals, that’d be swell.

Here’s hoping that all of you get everything you want in 2014 as well. Have a great New Year!


  1. The Bob

    I’m really frustrated and disappointed in the future releases of older movies. I’m tired of seeing reissues of Blu-ray DVD’s that have already been on the market and NOT issuing ones of such:

    The King and I, Oklahoma, The Abyss, Around the World in 80 Days, Avalon, Culpepper Cattle Company, Red River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Love and Death, Explorers, Follow Me Boys! (Disney), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, Henry V (Branaugh vers), Hawaii, Lost In Yonkers, On Golden Pond, Paint Your Wagon, Power of One, The Mosquito Coast, The Yearling, Tucker, A Man and His Dreams…I have doubts about these, but there are a lot of Baby Boomers with money who might like these to be released.

  2. Deaditelord

    True Lies and Princess Mononoke for me. On the hardware side, now that my moving from a house in Iowa to an apartment in Florida is starting to become a reality, I would like to see some headphones capable of simulating a lossless 5.1 environment.

  3. William Henley

    Well, this comes with interesting timing. I had a fire early Monday morning and lost everything. I doubt anything survived, they haven’t let us back in yet, but its all insured.

    So this brings up the interesting question of what I am going to do with my home theater. Everything will need to be replaced, so I have already started debating on just what all I am going to do with it. I could go all out with a new home theater, but I am not sure that will be the wisest use of money. I am thinking of trying to keeping HT equipment down below $1500. Right now, I am debating between a 50 inch 4k Seiki or going with a large Vizio 3D, maybe like a $100-$150 Blu-Ray player, then spending maybe $500ish on a sound system (that is about what I put my last one together for, so I know its possible). I am wanting to go 7.1 and i don’t think that will be too big of a deal – Pioneer reciever, Sony speakers (what I had before), find a good sub on sale or clearance somewhere, I can certainly do it for $500.

    I am not sure what I am going to do on movies. People have asked me if I am going to rebuy everything, and I am thinking no – I had over 500 Blu-Rays, and honestly do not see a reason to rebuy them all. I am not sure yet if I can recover anything from the fire – fire department still has not let us in.

    Plus side is everything is insured, I got a place to stay, items and money are being donated, and also income tax and bonuses are just a couple of months away. If I wanted to, I could go all out with Home Theater gear, but I don’t think that will be the best way to utilize funds. I’ve got a lot of planing to do.

    For sure, though, I do plan to go bigger than the 42 inch screen I had before. Really no reason not to – I am sure I will be well insured on everything because I got a good insurance company, and I am great at shopping for electronics on a deal.

    UPDATE – Okay, I don’t think I am going to go with the Seiki. The reviews are all over the place on Amazon’s website, and the most critical reviews are poor customer support and the fact that it only does 30fps. One reviewer also said you cannot adjust the tint / color on HDMI connected devices. Several saying the image processor is horrible. So I am probably going to stick with Vizio – I have been extremely happy with their products.

  4. Freakyguy666

    Catching Fire will include IMAX footage in 16×9.

    Well it looks like another of my 2014 wishes came true with the confirmation that the bluray version of Catching Fire will include variable aspect ratios a la the IMAX version of the film.